Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friulan language

From Wikipedia's Friulan language page:

Friulan (furlan or affectionately marilenghe in Friulan, friulano in Italian), is a Romance language belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance family, spoken in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy. Friulan has around 800,000 speakers, the vast majority of whom also speak Italian. It is sometimes called Eastern Ladin, since it shares the same roots as Ladin, although over the centuries it has diverged under the influence of surrounding languages, including German, Italian, Venetian, and Slovene. Documents in Friulan are attested from the 11th century, and poetry and literature dating as far back as 1300. By the 20th century, there was a revival of interest in the language, which has continued to this day.

Native speakers refer to anything of Friulan culture, including themselves, as "Friûl." One great way to really get into the spirit of any culture is to find those online translators, like Friulan, and look up various words. In time, you will find aspects of history within those words, even just on your own by seeing similar spelling in other related languages. Friuli is, of course, in the northeast corner of our ancestral homeland, at high Alpine elevation. It was a crossroads between the Cisalpine world, the German world, and the Slavic world. It borders the Tri-Veneto area, Austria, and Slovenia.

When the Romans invaded the region in 181 BC, the natives were called the "Carni" and spoke a Celtic language. Since then many influences have completely altered the language. Roman, Ladin (a similar neighboring people), Langobard, Slavic, Venetian, French, and probably others, have left their linguistic imprint on the Friulan language.

There is so much to say about Friuli, that it's hard to focus only on the native language. The linguistic influences do say a lot about the Friulan people within a historical context. They're a facinating element of the Padan circle of native peoples.

Even within Friuli, there are variants of the language. How is that for confusion? Also, the regionally overlapping Ladin people, with a similar language, adds even more to the confusion. Just to give a few examples of Fruilan words with a clear origin in another historical language:

bussâ, to kiss (German)

zigâ, to shout (old Alpine Slavic)

cudiç devil (Slovene)

sbregâ, to tear (Langobardic)

bragons, trousers (Carnic/Celtic)

canucje, straw (Venetian)

pardabon, really (French)

Do take a look at the above link, as I just can't do this subject justice. This may be the most facinating Padan language of them all. Also, try some of the online translators like Logos; as well as some of the Italian-Friulan translators (you may need to go from English to Italian to Friulan). See also Friulan literature.


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